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The roads are OK

Re: ''Toll Call," (Postbag, Aug 14). Ye Olde Engineer writes: "I offer up a subject we can all agree on: bad roadway management and design in Thailand and Bangkok in particular".

Sorry, Ye Old Engineer, I disagree.

Certainly, there are road problems, particularly in urban areas like Bangkok.

But I have nothing but praise for many of the motorways that I use. For example, the Bangkok-Chonburi Motorway allows me to get from Rayong to Bangkok in two hours (yes, I admit it: I have a lead foot).

And if I am travelling to the North, the Northwest, or southern Thailand, the motorways over Bangkok allow me to fly over the urban traffic mess underneath and avoid the heartache and road-rage of the motorists below.

As for the tolls, I would consider them cheap at twice the price, given the convenience they offer.

I also think that Thailand's rural roads are also, by and large, excellent compared to many other more developed countries, and here I would include my own Australia.

Of course, I suspect that one of the reasons for this is that road construction is expensive and the potential for tea money for government officials handing out the contracts is enormous. But mai pen rai, for we are the beneficiaries also.

David Brown


Govt success stories

Re: "Good leaders always know when to quit," (BP, Aug 13).

Having read Chairith Yompiam's well-written article concerning the future of the prime minister, I generally agree that eight years is a long run, and all leaders generally have a shelf life.

While Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, and so on were good in their time, they might not be the ideal choice today if they were still alive and available.

Countries change with time and leadership changes are important.

Yet, while I generally agree that it is time for a change, I could not help but be struck by some of the things the Prayut administration got right, or more specifically what we have.

Since the PM was wise enough not to over-invest in "green" (unsustainable, costly) energy, I usually have electricity.

Additionally, since the PM and his government continued to rely on conventional farming, unlike Sri Lanka where the previous government abruptly cut chemical fertiliser to realise its organic farming endeavours, we still have enough to eat.

And, since the PM and his government wisely did not exhaust our reserves, our currency is intact and we don't have the massive inflation which is hitting countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Turkey, Venezuela, and Argentina.

So perhaps it is time for a change, and I leave that to Thai citizens to decide. But I will give credit where credit is due.

Things are anything but great in Thailand and we do need change, but at least the trains are running, the lights and water are generally on, our currency still has value and we still have the basics of life. Not everyone is so lucky.

Jason A Jellison


Reputation risk

Re: "Rajapaksa urged not to leave city hotel," (BP, Aug 13).

Thailand should not allow ousted former president Rajapaksa to remain in Thailand.

Allowing him to remain will put the kingdom's own reputation at risk with the international community.

Why would he be allowed to remain "in hiding"? This is not good for Thailand.

John Law


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